By Alan Biggs
UPDATED: 18th September 2017
A Championship match bizarrely went ahead with an apparent absence of a penalty spot in either area.
There appeared to be no penalty marks (the correct term in law) at the KCom stadium where Hull City and Sunderland fought out a 1-1 draw on Saturday.
A Hull fan contacted his local radio station after spotting an incredible anomaly that otherwise went largely unnoticed.
Television replays supported the claim of a glaring oversight. Certainly, no marks were visible.
Fortunately, neither side was awarded a penalty by the referee, Darren England, and there is no question of the game being replayed.
You Are The Ref’s Keith Hackett said: “It’s the responsibility of the officials to check the field markings, the penalty spot is part of that.
“It’s amazing that no-one noticed that, had they done so though they wouldn’t have allowed the game to proceed without the mark.”
Hull City have responded in a statement which you can read below, insisting the penalty spot were correctly marked.
However, Hackett points out: “Law 1 states that all lines must be the same width, which must not be more than 12cm (5 inches).
“Within the penalty area, a penalty mark is made 11m (12 yards) from the midpoint between the goalposts.
“This clearly wasn’t the case at Hull on Saturday as all the other markings, apart from the penalty mark, were visible to everyone in the stadium. I suggest Hull ensure proper markings in future.”
Hull City / SMC statement
The SMC would like to respond to suggestions made by local media that the pitch was not prepared sufficiently for Hull City’s game against Sunderland on Saturday. It has been alleged that there were no penalty spots marked in either of the goal areas.
The way that the penalty spots are now marked involves a hollow circle rather than the traditional large white spot. This is done to limit the amount of paint on the grass which ultimately damages the surface. It also removes the need to ‘green’ the white marks when the groundsmen change the markings between rugby and football, this process is also damaging for the surface. The pictures below show that this way of marking the pitch is less visible from the stands but when closer to the spot it is clearly present and visible.
We would also like to point out that two full sets of match officials, one for the EFL fixture and one for the development match, approved the pitch as playable after a full inspection. If there hadn’t been the correct markings this would have been raised by the officials.
We are disappointed that some people have chosen to question the work standards of our staff without being properly informed on the situation. Our current groundsmen have also received verbal abuse on a matchday due to the ongoing employment tribunal case with two former employees, this is both unnecessary and unacceptable.